Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Stockholm, Sweden (Götgatan 78)

It was easy getting ready to leave this morning. I generally get ready room-by-room. For instance, I take a shower, brush my teeth and shave then clean the room and move my stuff from there to be near the suitcase. Then the bedroom and finally the kitchen. Take out the trash. Put everything in the suitcase and my duffel bag and I’m ready to leave. Before I leave I re-read the Airbnb host’s instructions to make sure that I did everything that was requested.

I was supposed to be out of the flat at 11:00 and was a little late and left at 11:05. Still plenty of time to make the train to the airport. I essentially made the train connections back to the airport in reverse order from when I arrived. I had forgotten that the station for the commuter rail is at least four levels below ground. After boarding the train, in about 20 minutes we were at the airport.

It was a little early to check in with the airlines so I decided to have lunch while waiting. I found a place that served pasta but ordered pork tenderloins, asparagus, and fries. The meal wasn’t anything exceptional, but it still cost $25 USD. (This is why I eat most of my meals at home.) While eating I heard a cat’s meow then saw there was a cat in a travel kennel looking at his “human” eating a pizza. Someone had suggested that I take my cat with me as I traveled Europe. I couldn’t imagine traveling with a pet. (Especially my cat.)

At check-in, I’m getting better at fastening the luggage tag that is issued from the self-service machine. I’d rather have someone with more experience doing this, but that level of service is going away over the next few years. Was a little nervous seeing my suitcase go down the belt after I scanned the tag. I’ll have faith that the bag will meet me in Oslo.

I played a few games of pinochle on my phone while waiting for my flight to board. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a few people looking at the gate’s departure display and commenting. I looked up and it appeared our flight was going to be delayed. After about 15 minutes we learned that our flight was leaving from a new gate and was going to leave 20 minutes late. (I predicted it would be more like 30 minutes. And I was right.) But everyone successfully found their way onto the plane and soon we were off to Oslo.

When we arrived in Oslo, after doing some pre-reading about transportation options, I picked up my suitcase from the baggage area and looked for the shuttle bus to Oslo’s Central Station. I asked out where the buses arrive where to meet the shuttle and kept getting different answers. I found an information booth and asked about where to find the bus and was asked why I didn’t take a train. A train? Guess I must have missed that option. The person at the information booth was very helpful and said I should be able to find a bus at the Central Station, the train’s destination, that will take me to where I needed to go. I asked her about where to find the bus at Central Station and she said I wouldn’t have any problem – the station isn’t very large. (Famous last words.)

A man by the train ticket machines helped me buy the correct ticket and directed me to the platform where I’d meet the train. So far so good. The ride into Oslo was fairly quick and found myself in a very large train station. So much for this being an easy place to find a bus. I saw a Coop store in the terminal building and bought a few food items so I wouldn’t need to go to the store later. It was nearly 7:00. Then I tried to find the bus. I then tried to find an information booth and didn’t have much luck with that either. By this time I was getting tired of hauling around my suitcase, duffel bag and bag of groceries. I made the executive decision to take a taxi.

The taxi stand at the station I found easily and soon was on my way to my next Airbnb location. It was a fairly short ride and enjoyed talking with the taxi driver along the way. After I arrived, now began the process of finding how to get into the Airbnb flat. Apparently this is something new, but many of the Airbnb flats now allow people to let themselves in. (I would never do this.) In this case, the address only said the flat was in 3A. In this case 3A referred to a small group of apartments rather than just one of them. I re-read the instructions and she said the keys would be in the BBQ on the deck in back of the flat. She said to go around the apartment building – but which way. Eventually I found the BBQ. It was the only flat in the group that had a balcony and a BBQ.

When I walked in the door I was beat. And hot. I opened all the windows and turned on the fan. The instructions to sign on to the WiFi were also not clear. This was the first Airbnb flat (out of the 50 I’ve booked so far) that didn’t have the WiFi name and password written down somewhere. After 15 minutes was was settled in enough where I could sit down and relax. I almost felt like taking a nap.

For dinner I ate the sandwich that I bought at the Coop store and a few snacks. I also watched a couple of episodes of “The Flash”. For whatever reason I decided to lay down on the large sofa to sleep rather than the bedroom. I managed to get a couple of hours of sleep than slept in the bedroom.

I don’t have much planned for tomorrow except to go food shopping and buy a chicken to roast. And enjoying the rain and cooler weather.

 To see pictures: 

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